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As longtime readers of this gambling picks column know, I hate to draw attention to myself or brag. I’m a humble guy, bring his lunch pail to work, blue collar, if you’re looking for someone trying to draw attention you can go elsewhere.
Just not my style.
When I win, which occurs frequently, I hand the ball back to the referee and calmly jog to the sideline.
I’m the king of class and I always act like I’ve been there before.
Just who I am.
Having said all of this, can we all now pause and just acknowledge how incredible I was last week? We went 9-2 in the opening week of the college football season. We were so scintillatingly hot that fade the picks guy is bankrupt — he already had to ask his mom for more money — and college football season has just begun. As I’ve been saying for a decade now, #respectthepicks. And if you don’t #respectthepicks, you end up a complete and total loser. In both life and gambling.
THREE SEC TEAMS, TWO GAMES, ONE IMPORTANT WEEKEND LOOMS
Now, to be fair, while 9-2 is scintillating work, we’re still in pursuit of our elusive perfection, a perfect weekend. And, just maybe, that’s what we’ve got coming this week with our 12 winners below.
But before I give you the gambling picks, a reminder on my college football schedule for the rest of September. I’ll be in Austin this weekend for Alabama-Texas, in Auburn for the Penn State game next week, and then will finish out the month in Knoxville for Florida-Tennessee.
Future weeks in October and November are still to be determined depending on how the games shake out. But I look forward to seeing many of you on the road this fall.
GAMBLING PICKS, WEEK 2
With that in mind, let’s dive in with the picks, we’re going 12-0:
Alabama -20.5 at Texas
Generally speaking Nick Saban’s teams do their best work off rest. And some of the best performances of the Saban era have come early in the season. I know Alabama opened with Utah State last weekend, but that was a dress rehearsal for this game against Texas.
Remember when Nick Saban couldn’t lose a game to a former assistant coach? Well, he’s lost two of his last three against assistant coaches and I think Saban wants to reestablish dominance here. The unfortunate coach in his way? Sark.
The Tide is deeper and more physical than anything Sarkisian can roll out there. What begins as a relatively close game thanks to Texas’s running game keeping it close slowly morphs into a rout. The Tide coast to a 42-17 win, giving you a nice cover to start your Saturday morning on Fox.
South Carolina +8.5 at Arkansas
This is a play based entirely on the number, I just think it’s too high for an SEC opener for each team. Arkansas was just okay in a plodding victory over Georgia State and Arkansas took down a top 25 opponent in Cincinnati.
But in a battle of the 1992 additions to the SEC — can you believe it has been 30 years now since these two schools joined the SEC?! — the Gamecocks, in honor of legendary mulleted signal caller Steve Tanneyhill, get us a cover in Fayetteville.
Tennessee -6.5 at Pittsburgh and the over 66.5
I’ve been burned many times by Tennessee over the past decade or so. Just when you think the Vols are back, they collapse. But I really do think Tennessee is a top-15 caliber team this year and I’m not convinced Pitt is on that level. Certainly Vegas agrees with me in this interpretation, with the Vols nearly a touchdown road favorite over a team ranked well above them in the polls.
Aside from being, potentially, very strong evidence of how broken the polls are relative to gambling odds, Tennessee probably should have beaten Pitt last year. And that was when Pitt had Kenny Pickett and Jordan Addison, one of the top quarterback and wide receiver combos in the country last year. Now they’re replacing that duo and the defense looks wobbly, getting run on all day long by West Virginia.
I think Josh Heupel will have the Vols ready to go from the outset on Saturday and Tennessee jumps out to another early lead over Pitt in the first quarter. Only this time the Vols just keep adding more steam and don’t give up the lead.
On the flip side, however, I don’t think this Vol defense is that great and that means Pitt will definitely score on Tennessee too. But in the end the Vol offense is just too much, call it 45-35, Tennessee, meaning you get your cover and the over cruises well past the number for a double win.
Iowa State at Iowa -3.5 and the over 41.5
Okay, this is admittedly a week two special, play the overreaction in the gambling markets.
Last week Iowa scored seven points by virtue of a field goal and two safeties. It was the most Iowa offensive of Iowa offensive performances. Now we get the CyHawk game and everyone is on Iowa State and the under. I think the value play, quite simply, is on the exact opposite side of the equation, I’m going to be the only dude in America on Iowa and the over.
Prior to the season Iowa was nearly a double digit favorite in the look ahead line and the over/under would have approached fifty. Now’s the time to play the week overreaction in the markets.
The Hawkeyes come to play, their offense shows up, and the over cashes as well, call it Hawks 27 Cyclones 21.
Kentucky at Florida -5.5 and the over 51.5
I don’t how it happened, but Kentucky football fans are suddenly cocky.
You just look up one day and the team that’s never, ever won the SEC East and made the trip to Atlanta is suddenly bragging about how they’re going to make that happen. Meanwhile everyone is convinced Florida stinks to start the season and the Gators are a home underdog against Utah.
Last week I told you I loved the Gators at home to win outright against Utah and they managed to pull it off. Now this week I think the Gators put Kentucky back in their place, stuff them back in the locker until basketball season, make it clear that the Wildcats shouldn’t get used to ever winning in the Swamp.
Anthony Richardson vs. Will Levis is going to be a massacre, in favor of Richardson and I think the Gators, fresh off a big win and seeking to avenge last year’s disaster of a season, run all over Kentucky.
You know who will secretly enjoy this Gator romp the most?
John Calipari, Mr. Basketball School himself.
35-21 is the final.
Meaning you get the Gator win and the over too.
Southern Cal at Stanford +9.5
This is a David Shaw special.
Just when you think Shaw’s program is in the dumps, they rise up and win a game no one expects them to win. I know, I know, Lincoln Riley is the greatest coach in college football history, did you see what the Trojans did to Rice, bro?
But Shaw has had USC’s number for a while now, going 9-5 in the last 14 match-ups between these two schools. And I just think the Lincoln Riley hype train is out of control and overvalued. USC fired Clay Helton for a reason, and it wasn’t because his program was stacked with tons of talent.
Stanford keeps it a one score game and cashes a winner for you.
Southern Miss +26.5 at Miami
The Hurricanes destroyed Bethune-Cookman last week and next week they go on the road against Texas A&M. Southern Miss is coming off a brutal four overtime loss to Liberty and getting no respect as they head on the road against the Hurricanes.
I fully understand that I’m probably going to be the only person in the country on the Golden Eagles, but the Mario Cristobal era is just beginning.
And this has trap game written all over it for Miami.
Give me Southern Miss.
Wake Forest at Vanderbilt, the over 65.5
Two elite Southern schools meet on the gridiron Saturday night both sitting at 2-0.
Wake is a two touchdown favorite here, which feels steep, but the better play isn’t to take either side, it’s to sit back and watch the points roll by.
The offenses are both way ahead of the defenses and by the end of the third quarter you will have your win.
Cash the over in the nerd bowl.
Mississippi State -10.5 at Arizona
The most underrated team in the SEC, by far, is Mississippi State, which is completely under the radar in year three with Mike Leach. It’s even possible that State is the second best team in the SEC West this season.
The Bulldogs have a proven quarterback operating at a high level in this offense and Arizona, which had an impressive week one win, comes back to earth in a late evening tilt that will put the cherry on top of a perfect gambling day.
We’re going 12-0, baby.
It’s time to get rich, kids.
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One CommentLeave a Reply
I doubt Texas University scores that many points.